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Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Mr. Pumroy posted:

Okay, I've rewritten the blurb. I removed the reference to the divorce, as it isn't immediately relevant to the plot and contributed to the plodding opening. The opening still might plod, but I feel like I need to at least open with a description of the city as a “this is what you're getting into with this book” kind of thing, but it does get to the meat of things sooner.

The main thing that stands out is that you've got "new" and "newly" in the same sentence. I'm in an editing mood and pruned it a bunch of times. This is just me and feel no pressure to use it, I'm probably loving it up too (and I don't know the actual content so I can't really extrapolate anything else into it).

quote:

Bybridge is a city that boasts the largest population of superhumans, aliens, and other strange folk. It's also the new home for Carrie Collier and her father. Or rather, it would be, if Carrie wasn't declared a security risk by the city's cyborg government bureaucrats. And if her father wasn't abducted by a rampaging robot.

Aided by the undead, an aspiring mad scientist, and a mob of insane chefs, Carrie must venture deep into the ruins below the city to rescue her father from the clutches of a madman intent on making him the first victim of a grand plan that could destroy Bybridge.

I'd want to do something with that last sentence. Maybe split the villain and his plan into another sentence. It's also kinda odd to read because he was "abducted by a rampaging robot" (it might be funnier with one or two more adjectives, assuming you're going for funny) but is now in the clutches of a "madman". How does abducting him and keeping him alive long enough to kill him help destroy the city? I know you probably go into that in the story but abridged like this it looks like a leap.

You've made a weird and kinda funny world. Emphasise the funny while keeping the stakes. Keep sentences punchy and short-ish, not too meandering. The only "played-straight" sentence without any funny/weird is the one introducing Carrie and her father, and that's fine.

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Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


This is more relevant to those of you using CreateSpace and such, but what fonts do you like to use for the main body of text? Do you just use Garamond? Minion? Caslon? I was looking through Cloud Atlas and which apparently uses Requiem and is so, so good. Has anybody tried Linux Libertine? I'm finding interior book design fascinating.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


The cover is just so good that I had to download the book.

Only thing, you've reminded me, and I've noticed this in almost every single selfpub ebook/physical book in and out of this thread: The first paragraph of a chapter shouldn't be indented. You notice some weird borderline subliminal poo poo when you're learning how to format this stuff.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


I don't really understand the benefit. Even if you're not nominated, you get that same initial exposure as the winner and you'll be able to self-publish anyway and retain the higher royalties. Granted I haven't gone through the process and am being totally naive but it sounds kinda pointless?

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Kicklighter posted:

Thanks for the feedback. Should have trusted my gut!

Is this any closer to the mark?



I'll work on the blurb too. I'm having a problem with the novel coming across as YA when it's really for the 18-34 crowd.

Better. Less black and more glow so it looks less photoshopy.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


There's no harm in writing and self-publishing entirely for fun and personal enjoyment, but "entirely for fun and personal enjoyment" is obviously going to be less deliberate and targeted than writing to market for the purpose of profit.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


All Else Failed posted:

More questions, apologies

I know you're doing this for business and money, but have you actually written anything yet? Or know how to write? Because if you're doing all this research at the expense of any writing at all, any business plan you have will fall apart because your product will be garbage.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Seriously, that's the most stereotypical "bad writer who doesn't know they're bad" line ever. There is no such thing as an "innately gifted writer", there's writers who have practiced and writers who haven't. Maybe you got good marks in high school Creative Writing, but who didn't? Throw a few polysyllabic words and a tortured metaphor in there and it's an instant A+.

You become good at writing by writing, not by having a *** SPECIAL SOUL ***.

ravenkult posted:

Writing makes you better, but talent is a thing. I mean I've only probably written like 20 stories in my life, but I sold 7 of them and it's not because I've written 500 000 words or something (No, I'm not saying I have innate talent or whatever, just that some ''get'' writing faster than others).

For pretty much all my life I've been told that I'm really good at writing and am naturally gifted and it's innate and I do it really well and I'm articulate and yadda yadda yadda; but even so, I've spent the last half-decade reading more and relearning everything from the ground up because, unsurprisingly, an echochamber of "Wow you're such a gifted writer!" doesn't do a good job of helping identify whether what I'm doing is right or wrong.

You're both right, but I reckon a high degree of self-awareness and being able to have fun with writing (or at least tolerate it really loving well) could pull you through both scenarios.

This is more Fiction Advice thread stuff though which is kinda where I think All Else Failed should be heading before they burn out focusing on the stuff that isn't the actual writing part.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


All Else Failed posted:

Would you care to elaborate on why I should be in the Fiction Advice thread Szmitten? I don't quite get your reasoning. I am not worried as much about the writing because I have confidence in my current ability and my ability to improve, true, but I don't see why I should be when I have a bunch of bullshit like tanking my ROI with covers and boring poo poo like formatting and forcing myself to read lovely e-books for emulation purposes to worry about. Like I said before, if it was just about writing I'd have started 2.5 years ago.

Because you want to write fiction.

Seriously though, I was gonna say something else here but I'm actually being really presumptuous or I might be missing something in an earlier post but could I just ask:

-Have you posted anything here; like a short story or something in Thunderdome?
-Have you written anything recently, and has anyone else read it? (What did they think?)
-Do you actually know about story structure and in addition to other basic technical junk like adverbs, passive voice, third limited/omniscient, etc?

If you can answer yes to two or more of the above then sorry for giving you a hard time, ignore me. If not, maybe consider giving a look or an attempt before dedicating yourself to what you're doing?

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


EngineerSean posted:

It's pen name, the erotica pen names get none of this love.

Wait, is this because you're outselling erotica or just that they're not eligible?

Either way, neat. Congrats. (How exactly do you market yourself?)

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


EngineerSean posted:

They definitely do not, you'll lose a lot of paid rank during a free run.

So doing the free run in the first five days of initial publishing along with a marketing blitz of "hey free book get it now gogogo" wouldn't be a problem then?

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


EngineerSean posted:

Would not be a problem and also could do wonders for the visibility of the book.

Ah good, that's one of the things from this thread I've committed to memory and I thought it was in peril.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Sundae posted:

Amazon's review period is soooooooooo slow right now. :(

Presumably because everyone's uploading their book in time for the annual Christmas influx of Kindles?

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Fanky Malloons posted:

Anyway, I'm aware that the endeavour would be a whole poo poo-ton of work, and so I'm reluctant to go for it if the fact that it's short fiction is going to leave it dead in the water. I suppose I could re-configure the idea into a novel or something, but for some reason I really enjoy the idea of building a little world this way. What do you guys think?

The thing is, if someone happens to stumble upon one of these things, can you trust them to find or realise that there is more content elsewhere?

Instead, maybe have a novel length compilation of these short stories, incorporate those Tumblr posts into the text as their own chapters/stories and format them like a blog post to get that sweet Cloud Atlas-y feel, call it "Tales from Townname" and be done with it. If you get more ideas or want to do a series, follow it up with "Further Tales from Townname". I feel it's a safer bet.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


If you wanna be a super cheapskate it's better to go through things that are explicitly free to use commercially or public domain.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Faded Mars posted:

I think that really goes to show that the quality of writing itself isn't something people necessarily look for in a story. They're looking for an experience of a certain sort (especially when it comes to romance) and they're often willing to forgive a lot of bad writing and storytelling if the story and experience behind those things is what they're seeking.

I think it's less to do with forgiving it and more to do with being unable to identify it in the first place.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


EngineerSean posted:

Imagine if the only people who wrote fantasy were dragonslayers.

They are in their D&D campaign let me tell you all about it

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Alternatively you can do it yourself in Word by using page breaks and hyperlinking the chapter names on the Table of Contents page (aka, page 1) to the chapter title in the manuscript.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


I have loosely considered porting my weird CYOA thing into a free Kindle book, which I'm assured from looking at stuff can be done with hyperlinks (whether via HTML or Word), but even if I followed through with it it could only ever be some dumb little free gimmicky thing.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


I haven't done it but I gave it a brief look a while ago and it doesn't seem that daunting. Createspace has various Word templates that match the page/book dimensions you want, you input the text into the template (or make your own template edited from a copy of your manuscript file), switch on or off options like widows that stop pages consisting of only a few words or lines from happening, page breaks, page numbers, headers, alternating margin sizes so the spine facing margin is thicker, make sure chapter one is on the right, (really just pick up a physical book and emulate it), convert it into a pdf (maybe?) and submit it. There are also paid typsetting programs that have more specific options since Word may or may not have weird kerning and justification. You kinda have to go through it page by page since it is more clearly defined than an ebook and in many ways like a work of art in the sense that the layout you have is going to be the one true final universal layout.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


I wouldn't know either but if you're talking full colour photographs taking up almost the whole book then yeah, that's going to be quite expensive regardless and $25 sounds expected considering it's only a self-pub limited run thing. Depends on how many pages you're talking too.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Bobby Deluxe posted:

You're all talking about corporate tax optimisation, and I'm sat here losing 30% of every sale because Amazon's in a huff with the British government :(

Wait what, is this a new thing?

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008



I thought there was an easy way around this specifically because Amazon US and the UK had some kind of agreement and doing <I can't remember what, declaring your UK-ness?> got around it?

ArchangeI posted:

Yeah, a lot of countries have tax treaties with the US that reduce your withholding to 0. At least Germany does, and we fought two wars against the US. I would be surprised if Britain didn't have one, too. Recently, Amazon even changed it so you don't have to get an EIN, you just fill out a form under account management and get your withholding rate set to 0.

Something like this. I'm pretty sure you don't even have to call anyone or anything, it's just an online form within Amazon.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


I was actually mocking up something like this last night but had to stop and gave up but take this as more than one person thinking you should go for the Memento poster/DVD cover look.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


magnificent7 posted:

I have actually tried this a dozen times and keep seeing "SLAP SHOT", the 70s hockey movie with Paul Newman. And/Or, "What? A book about a gun shooting in a snap decision?" Perhaps I've spent too drat long on this story and it's time to move on.

Here was one, trying to go with "Old book, and a photograph too."

Taking the southern gothic element to heart and jacking everybody elses ideas:


But that's just me dicking around and not knowing much about anything.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


After hearing about people releasing 10 page books so that they get paid the moment the book is opened while longer works are hosed I'm kinda relieved? Especially since I have no interest in shorts, erotica or otherwise.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


CommissarMega posted:

Bit of a dumb question here, but does anyone know how to format a document so that each chapter begins on its own page on a Kindle? Also, how does one use Payoneer to receive online payments as a non-US citizen? I can't seem to find any line on the Amazon tax information form that would allow me to do so; just the usual stuff about receiving stuff by check. Never mind, found the option- it was in the 'Bank Account' section :downs:

In .docs at least you insert a page break.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


magnificent7 posted:

oh poo poo wait what.

I went back and found the photo online (from morguefile.com) and just emailed the photographer to let him know how I'm using it - sent him a link, etc. I read the usage guidelines, and everything is very clear-cut on usage:


Am I setting myself up for a disaster? Crap, I'll need to go buy that camera and take my own photo pronto.

What? No. You're in the best position. You're free to do whatever you want with the image, even use it in something you can profit from, without crediting the creator.

All it's saying is that you can't post that image unchanged and say "Yo I took this picture it belongs to me." You're fine. Yours is borderline public domain. There's nothing wrong with Creative Commons, but there are several varieties of the license and you do need to read and heed it. But the above is fine.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


LionArcher posted:

Okay gang, just posted this on the slack chat as well. This is my former cover for my mystery/thriller.

http://imgur.com/a/gAZb5

Something about it wasn't working for me, and others agreed. Not great. Which lead me to these.


http://imgur.com/a/fyHen

http://imgur.com/a/aiOL0

http://imgur.com/a/2Agr8

Thoughts? Preferences between these three?

I think it would be better to go for the orange gradient text for the title but ditch the transparency. White (non-transparent) series/author names is good, and either ditch the box around "Katie Bell Mystery" or find a way to taper the sides to make it less boxy.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


People don't intend to stick around to read the ad, so I'd say either get to the book title/Amazon frames sooner, or keep those logos up at all times. 5/7 frames of that gif are not about your book or books in general, and in fact I thought it was a restaurant/coffee shop. If you reduce it all to that one frame with "Horns etc" or whatever you end up going with, add an Amazon Kindle logo to the bottom right, and keep the final two frames as is, it'd be way better and you have 3/3 frames that are about books.

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Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Bubble Bobby posted:

You're one of the most frequent posters in this thread but I never see you post any of your own work. Why is that?

People will buy them avatars and captions with saucy quotes from their books.

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